World, Life

Gender parity out of reach for 100 years: Report

Parity between men and women across health, education, work, politics will take more than lifetime to achieve, says report

Aysu Biçer   | 19.12.2019
Gender parity out of reach for 100 years: Report Source:


The world must wait almost 100 years to see gender parity, according to the new World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Gender Gap Report. 

The report, released on Tuesday, found that none of us will see gender parity in our lifetimes, and few of our children will either.

Gender parity has been considered an integral part of economic development in countries around the world.

The report evaluates 153 countries on their progress towards gender parity in four dimensions: economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment.

"It will take 95 years to close the gender gap in political representation, with women in 2019 holding 25.2% of parliamentary (lower-house) seats and 21.2% of ministerial positions," said the report.

It added that women’s participation in the wider labor market has stalled and financial disparities are on the rise.

"Globally, the trend is towards a deteriorating picture in emerging and developing economies, which is offsetting the gains made in OECD countries," the report noted.  

Workforce strategies to better equip women

The report also said that the biggest challenge to closing the economic gender gap is women’s under-representation in emerging roles.

"In cloud computing, just 12% of professionals are women. Similarly, in engineering and data and AI, the numbers are 15% and 26%, respectively," it added.

According to the researchers, to address these deficiencies, workforce strategies must ensure that women are better equipped to overcome the challenges, benefitting from the opportunities of the fourth industrial revolution. 

Top performers

For the 11th year in a row, the best performer country for gender parity was Iceland, closing almost 88% of its overall gender gap.

Iceland was followed by Norway (second, 84.2%), Finland (third, 83.2%) and Sweden (fourth, 82.0%).

The report also noted that Ethiopia, Spain, Mali, Albania, and Mexico have all closed their gaps by 3.4% points or more, sharing a substantial increase in women’s presence in political institutions.

By region, Western Europe made the most progress on gender parity (standing at 76.7%), followed by North America (72.9%), Latin America and the Caribbean (72.2%), Eastern Europe and Central Asia (71.3%), Sub-Saharan Africa (68.2%), South Asia (66.1%) and the Middle East, and North Africa (60.5%).

Since 2006, the Global Gender Gap Report has tracked progress in closing gender gaps. Each year, the rate of change can estimate the time required to close the divide between women and men in employment, education, health and politics.

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